Should I Just do 2 (instead of 3) High Intensity Days Per Week?

Hello team,

I’m in the Sustained Power HV Plan.
I have 3 High Intensity Days (VO2 Max and Threshold) + 2 Easy Endurance Days + 1 Sweet Pot Day + 1 Rest (Off the Bike) Day each week. I also have a Maintance GYM Day after a High Intensity Workout, and I do Mobility/Core work 6 nights per week.

Instead of doing the 2-Hour Sweet Spot on Sunday, I am doing a 4.5 to 7-hour Outside MTB Ride to better get ready for my A Event (a Century MTB Ride I expect to complete in 6 to 7 hours).

The problem is that after those long rides, I get Monday off and then a High Intensity Workout on Tuesday. But I’m getting a bit fatigued. So, I am wondering if I could/should just replace the High Intensity Tuesday with an Easy Endurance Ride…?

So my week would end up like this:
Mon: OFF
Tue: 2-Hour Sweet Spot + GYM
Wed: 1-Hour Endurance
Thu: 2-Hour VO2
Fri: 1-Hour Endurance
Sat: 2-Hour Threshold
Sun: Long Ride

Would that make sense?

In short, I am trading a 1.5-Hour VO2 for a long ride. And moving things around, so that long ride takes place on Sunday when I have more time.

IMHO you should also consider something else: skip the Friday endurance ride. I experimented a little with my training plans a few years ago, and I took a MV plan and added a Friday endurance ride (it was a group ride). It turned out that I didn’t get enough recovery and this was not sustainable.

However, when I tried adding e. g. 30-minute endurance rides after 1-hour workouts and extended some workouts, but maintaining two days off, it was not a problem, I did that for more than a season.

Do you mean keeping my week like I proposed except taking Fri off?

Mon: OFF
Tue: 2H SS
Wed: 1H Endurance
Thu: 2H VO2
Fri: OFF
Sat: 2H Threshold
Sun: 5+H Long Ride

Like that?

Yes.
That worked for me. Turns out, I need two days off per week. (I’m 41 FWIW.)

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Pre Trainer Road with a coach I followed something similar to that although the coach would sometimes reign me in at the weekend and the sessions could occasionally be shorter (although when it was :sun_with_face: I often didn’t follow orders :rofl:).

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Firstly, Can your training (and life) sustain 12+hours a week? If not-

Is it worth looking at a low volume plan, then potentially choosing longer duration alternates + some extra z2 to a comfortable and sustainable level?

If you can sustain what you’re currently on , then I’d put the intensity day before (either 1-2 days before) your long ride and have a couple of easy days afterwards. If you’re fatigued going into it then you’ll self select easier work options to keep life easier for yourself. Possibly :slight_smile:

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It’s hard to know without seeing your training history but that looks like too much intensity and not enough recovery.

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This is also a good point. I found that when I made myself a MV+/HV- plan, I often found that everything IRL had to go smoothly, I had very few slack to compensate for when life happens.

To give one example, usually I go for an endurance ride with my daughter in two on Saturdays. However, today she wanted to ride her bike and go to the playground. Family > bike riding. But I can move my endurance ride to tomorrow. (My schedule is shifted by one day, Tuesday —> Monday, …, Sunday —> Saturday.) Is it ideal? Nope, but I can manage.

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I’m doing five MTB 100s this year and just finished SustainedPBHV. The reason you’re feeling fatigued is because you’re doing too much. I’m doing less this year (100* tss less on average) with AT, than last yet I’ve already reached lifetime PRs. So I’m fitter than I’ve ever been and my races haven’t even started.

For starters, that Sunday long MTB can’t be z2 unless your trails are completely flat. I can’t think of a single trail where I’m not forced to hit high power to get up punchy hills or obstacles. Over 4-7 hours that adds up and will definitely affect future training. Add to that your strength training and core work and you’re definitely on the edge of nonfunctional overreaching. It’s been said numerous times, you don’t need to ride the entire duration of your event to complete. Training value drops off after 4-5 hours and after that you’re just adding unnecessary fatigue.

I’d definitely recommend at least removing one intensity day to z2 and pay particular attention to your fatigue. I’ve been where you’re headed and it leads to a frustrating and disappointing season.

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You could also try to focus only on high intensity training for a short period of time and then come back to race specific training before the main event. Now you’re doing everything from very long z2 rides all the way to hard vo2-intervals within a single week. It’s very hard to be fresh enough to do proper vo2 work while also doing productive sweetspot and threshold sessions. More likely than not, your high intensity sessions are compromised and you are still underrecovering.

I would take a rest week, then a 3-4 week vo2 block (or 2x3 week, depending on your time horizon) and then shift towards your race-specific sessions such as long z2 rides and sweetspot workouts. This allows you to fully accomodate all your “recovery capacity” to get max adaptations from the hard training while still avoiding burnout.

3 to 4 weeks of vo2 training should be short enough so you don’t lose the aerobic base and muscle endurance you’ve built but long enough to allow you to reap most of the benefits of vo2 work. Returning to long sweetspot rides shouldn’t be too difficult and hopefully you are then on a new level.

Do you have a power meter on the MTB?

I’ve wondered something similar. Whenever I look at the difference between HV and MV you see the intensity of the MV plan is much higher. I’ve thought it might potentially be better to do the scheduled T/Th workouts and either do one of the scheduled weekend workout with the other being a long ride, or both weekend rides being longer and Z2-Z3.
I don’t want to switch to a MV plan and then start slamming Vo2 in a SSB plan because that seems more counter intuitive rather than building that bigger base engine.

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What about ditching the Sat 2hr Threshold session (replacing with either 1hr z1 or 1-2hrs z2) and try to shuffle the schedule around to give you two days between that monster MTB ride and the next interval day? I’m not saying two days off, but maybe a rest day and a z2 day between the MTB and interval sesh.

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What a brutally honest answer. Thanks a lot. Really appreciate it!

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I do :+1:

Exaaaactly. You nailed it. Moving to a MV Plan with more intense workouts is what motivated me to just keep the HV Plan and made those twicks.

Interesting approach. Thanks for your recommendation. Will look into it. :+1: